Kevin grew up in a typical Northwest Indiana town in what he thought was a typical American life. He got good grades in school, worked a full time job through high school, played sports, and like most of his friends in school, dabbled with drugs and alcohol. One of the people Kevin partied with at that time was his older brother David. Everything seemed normal to him. Everything was normal- until it wasn’t. While Kevin breezed through high school, his brother, though more gifted academically, started struggling with school, jobs, and life. Kevin didn’t realize that his brother had progressed from light partying into a major cocaine addiction. By the time Kevin was a senior in high school, David had already entered his first drug treatment center.
BA, CADAC II
Emily Kirk-Back, Program Director at Heartland Recovery didn’t always know that working in the field of addictions was going to be her passion. Growing up she was drawn to law enforcement and she wanted to work for the FBI like Jodi Foster in Silence of the Lambs. That dream slowly went away as she found herself cycled in one bad decision and one bad habit after another. It wasn’t until about 11 years ago when she changed and that same passion she had as a child came back, still wanting to be a little like Jodi Foster but now working in the field of addictions.
Jaime Rogers, Outreach Coordinator, is a life-long resident of NWI, graduating from Portage High School and earned her B.A. from IUN. From the time that she graduated from high school to the day that she joined the team at Heartland, Jaime’s path both personally and professionally has been one of experiential learning. It was as if Jaime’s personal life/struggles opened the door to a career reflective of that specific struggle.
Dr. Hubert has extensive experience helping people more effectively cope with major life adjustments due to stress, loss, transition, medical diagnoses, or trauma. Helping clients use their strengths and develop new ones to create acceptance, health, and resilience is her focus. Dr. Hubert is board certified in psychopharmacology, which allows her to advise a client about maintaining or restoring wellness with medications.
Alysha Rechlicz is one of the counselors here at Heartland Recovery Center. Alysha is a native to Chesterton, Indiana and graduated from Chesterton High School. Alysha’s initial career choice after high school was to become a teacher. However, due to unfortunate life circumstances, which includes the death of her grandfather, Alysha began a downward spiral of active addiction forcing her life in a different direction. Realizing that her life needed to change she sought recovery. After entering in her recovery, Alysha realized something was missing from her life became actively involved in the recovery community.
Christian grew up and lived in Hammond Indiana for 28 years. He graduated from Morton Senior High School in 2003 and started college at Herron School of Arts/IUPUI. When Christian started college, his drinking and drugging career began. Christian lasted only a year in college and then returned home. Over the next 10 years his addiction and alcoholism increased steadily. On September 11, 2013 he started his recovery journey and has remained clean and sober since that day.
Rhonda is the head counselor for Heartland Recovery Center’s evening Outpatient Program (OP). She began working in the field of addiction after graduating with a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Post-graduation, Rhonda worked with both adolescents and adults seeking treatment for substance abuse.
Sharron Van Kooten began her education in drugs and addiction thirty years ago when she became aware that her eldest son was abusing cocaine. For the next ten to fifteen years, her knowledge grew as he drifted between rehabs and relapses.
Germaine Patterson, one of Heartland Recovery Center’s counselors was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School, Germaine began seeking out his own path which led him to Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he began working towards his dream of attending law school. Prior to graduation from Grambling Germaine completed an internship where he was working with juveniles who struggled with mental health and behavioral problems.